House of the Year awards confirm quality for clients

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Greg McGovern Construction Ltd took out the 2010 New Homes $1 million – $2 million category, as well as the BRANZ Sustainable Homes over $1 million category with a striking home overlooking Hamilton’s Lake Rotokauri.
“We were awarded the Sustainable Award first and that was amazing. We have been putting a lot of effort into sustainable building, because it’s definitely the way of the future,” Mr McGovern says.

“The $1 million to $2 million category was tough though, so winning out of those 22 houses was mind blowing. I was really pleased for our staff and our clients especially.”
The home was specifically designed by architect Geoff Lentz to allude to a kite, with the primary “kite form” accommodating the main living areas and bedrooms, and a secondary guest wing — the “kite tail” — separated by a grassed courtyard.

Mr Lentz’s exceptional design allows guests to have privacy and their own series of views across the hillside to the lake, and features a radiata pine frame and structure, avoiding structural steelwork and recognising pine as a local and renewable resource.
Mr McGovern and Mr Lentz worked closely with the home owners to select materials that minimised the carbon footprint of the building, incorporating in-slab heating, solar-water heating, worm-farm wastewater treatment and heavy insulation.

Judges said the builder had clearly thought through all elements of sustainability and what his professional experience could bring to the project in order to deliver a superb home.
“The home is a real statement from a true craftsman. The builder’s common sense, mixed with outstanding craftsmanship and experience, has delivered a truly sustainable, award-winning home,” judges said.

While Mr McGovern encourages builders to enter the competition, he says workmanship has got to be of the highest standard. “It’s about the whole building process — the way you project manage, material selection, and making sure you use innovative building processes. It has to be perfect, and that’s really how builders should approach every job,” he says.

Mr McGovern says it was a really enjoyable project for all involved, and using natural products such as cedar and hardwoods meant he could really apply his craft.
“We always focus on the liveability of the home for the owners by coming up with innovative ideas and options, and making the building process enjoyable and stress free.
“Being on site and liaising with the owners, architects and sub-trades gives you a better feel for the job. We are also very lucky to have a highly skilled team,” Mr McGovern says.

Greg McGovern Construction Ltd was also awarded two House of the Year awards in 2003, including winner of the ORIGIN Timeframe Structural Assurance Award and third place for the New Homes over $550,000 category.

The Awards are made possible through the support of principal sponsor PlaceMakers, and supporting sponsors James Hardie, Gib Living Solutions®, Pink® Batts® Ultra®, Nulook and the Department of Building and Housing.

For more information about the competition, go to www.masterbuilder.org.nz.

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